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    I keep getting c grades in maths tests, and even then it's a low c. I'm at the end of year ten and still haven't got the knack of doing simple things in maths, such as percentages and fractions, probability and ratios. I get easily confused in class and my teacher threatened to move me down a group (I'm in top set, but not for long....). Anyone recommend a website or book that will help me improve my maths?
    And please let me know if you feel the same- is it just me...?
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    (Original post by RebeccaLong)
    I keep getting c grades in maths tests, and even then it's a low c. I'm at the end of year ten and still haven't got the knack of doing simple things in maths, such as percentages and fractions, probability and ratios. I get easily confused in class and my teacher threatened to move me down a group (I'm in top set, but not for long....). Anyone recommend a website or book that will help me improve my maths?
    And please let me know if you feel the same- is it just me...?
    Maths is just repetition, the fact that you're willing to work at it is a huge bonus. What I would suggest is to speak to your teacher and ask them what your biggest weaknesses are - and then come up with a solution (extra help, private tutor, after school classes etc).
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    Yes, the majority of people (including graduates) are bad at maths.
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    (Original post by RebeccaLong)
    I keep getting c grades in maths tests, and even then it's a low c. I'm at the end of year ten and still haven't got the knack of doing simple things in maths, such as percentages and fractions, probability and ratios. I get easily confused in class and my teacher threatened to move me down a group (I'm in top set, but not for long....). Anyone recommend a website or book that will help me improve my maths?
    And please let me know if you feel the same- is it just me...?
    Do you have a MathsWatch CD? I found it invaluable and it explains each topic really clearly. CGP books are also really good, and you could try the HegartyMaths YouTube videos if you want something free.
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    I got a C in GCSE maths, though that didn't stop me getting a degree in maths from a top 10 university. Admittedly, it wasn't a very straightforward path! but you needn't waste time like I did.

    I can only really give you advice that worked for me, but I hope it is helpful. You say you "haven't got the knack of doing simple things", which suggests to me you might have the same problem I did, which was that the steps to do something didn't mean anything to me. To find a percentage, I did some numerical things without a clue why it was the right thing to do, which made it hard to remember or easy to trick me. If you're the same, it's worth simply thinking about what things like percentages, ratios and probabilities are, and what they mean, before how to work with them. Then, as it did for me, it should be a lot more accessible to see why mathematicians work with them the way they do.

    Unfortunately, in mathematics, the amount of online materials seems to be directly related to how advanced it is, and not a lot of varied approaches exist for GCSE. I would then recommend, if it's an option, to get a tutor.

    Feel free to ask me about anything if you'd like, I'll try my best to help.
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    (Original post by FireGarden)
    I got a C in GCSE maths, though that didn't stop me getting a degree in maths from a top 10 university. Admittedly, it wasn't a very straightforward path! but you needn't waste time like I did.

    I can only really give you advice that worked for me, but I hope it is helpful. You say you "haven't got the knack of doing simple things", which suggests to me you might have the same problem I did, which was that the steps to do something didn't mean anything to me. To find a percentage, I did some numerical things without a clue why it was the right thing to do, which made it hard to remember or easy to trick me. If you're the same, it's worth simply thinking about what things like percentages, ratios and probabilities are, and what they mean, before how to work with them. Then, as it did for me, it should be a lot more accessible to see why mathematicians work with them the way they do.

    Unfortunately, in mathematics, the amount of online materials seems to be directly related to how advanced it is, and not a lot of varied approaches exist for GCSE. I would then recommend, if it's an option, to get a tutor.

    Feel free to ask me about anything if you'd like, I'll try my best to help.
    Ummm, where do/did you do your degree?
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    (Original post by RebeccaLong)
    I keep getting c grades in maths tests, and even then it's a low c. I'm at the end of year ten and still haven't got the knack of doing simple things in maths, such as percentages and fractions, probability and ratios. I get easily confused in class and my teacher threatened to move me down a group (I'm in top set, but not for long....). Anyone recommend a website or book that will help me improve my maths?
    And please let me know if you feel the same- is it just me...?

    I cant stress enough how maths GCSE is important. I am in yr 11 and have currently finished my GCSES. I must say maths was one of the hardest exams for me so i suggest you get the Mathswatch CD(this has maths titurials from grades A*-G) or go on Corbett maths(Free online titurial you can watch on the internet) or Hergarty maths online. I also suggest that you do tons of past papers and have a look at the June 2014 ones. Get revision guides from WHsmith and other shops.

    Good luck and remember "failing to prepare is preparation for failure"
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    (Original post by RebeccaLong)
    I keep getting c grades in maths tests, and even then it's a low c. I'm at the end of year ten and still haven't got the knack of doing simple things in maths, such as percentages and fractions, probability and ratios. I get easily confused in class and my teacher threatened to move me down a group (I'm in top set, but not for long....). Anyone recommend a website or book that will help me improve my maths?
    And please let me know if you feel the same- is it just me...?
    You've got this far which is good and also that you are willing to work hard which is pretty much all of the battle.

    Maths is like learning to play a musical instrument: At first you look at the notes and think OMG! And your fingers will not move the way your brain wants them to. But keep practicing and little by little it all sinks in and each new technique you learn builds on the previous.

    Make sure you understand what's going on. Go back to your primary school level and start from there to build confidence if you need to. No shame in making sure you have the basics right.

    Then it's practice, practice, practice until you can do it standing on your head!

    If it helps, the first time I did my maths O-level (a few years ago now) I got a D. That did not stop me from doing exactly what I have just said. It finally clicked and I now have a masters degree in Aeronautical Engineering from a Russell Group university.

    You can do it too!
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    (Original post by RebeccaLong)
    I keep getting c grades in maths tests, and even then it's a low c. I'm at the end of year ten and still haven't got the knack of doing simple things in maths, such as percentages and fractions, probability and ratios. I get easily confused in class and my teacher threatened to move me down a group (I'm in top set, but not for long....). Anyone recommend a website or book that will help me improve my maths?
    And please let me know if you feel the same- is it just me...?
    Have you been tested for dyscalculia? It's the number form of dyslexia, only a bit more difficult to say for me at least. I would check if there is any provision at school or uni; nothing to be ashamed of, lots of people have it and do well they find coping mechanisms and other ways of learning that may not be quite as abstract.
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    (Original post by FireGarden)
    I got a C in GCSE maths, though that didn't stop me getting a degree in maths from a top 10 university. Admittedly, it wasn't a very straightforward path! but you needn't waste time like I did.

    I can only really give you advice that worked for me, but I hope it is helpful. You say you "haven't got the knack of doing simple things", which suggests to me you might have the same problem I did, which was that the steps to do something didn't mean anything to me. To find a percentage, I did some numerical things without a clue why it was the right thing to do, which made it hard to remember or easy to trick me. If you're the same, it's worth simply thinking about what things like percentages, ratios and probabilities are, and what they mean, before how to work with them. Then, as it did for me, it should be a lot more accessible to see why mathematicians work with them the way they do.

    Unfortunately, in mathematics, the amount of online materials seems to be directly related to how advanced it is, and not a lot of varied approaches exist for GCSE. I would then recommend, if it's an option, to get a tutor.

    Feel free to ask me about anything if you'd like, I'll try my best to help.
    Wow, that's impressive. What path did you have to take?
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    (Original post by Noble.)
    Wow, that's impressive. What path did you have to take?
    Ah, not exactly. It wasn't too deviant from usual, just hard work.

    I did my GCSE's in 2006 (I'm 24), and didn't do very well.. I had no real interest in anything at school. I got 1 A, 4 B's, 3 C's, a D, E and an F. I somehow was allowed to stay at the 6th form, but failed AS. After being forced to leave, I went to a music college (the only interest I had at all) and spent two years there getting an advanced diploma in practical music (and concurrently screwing my ears up.. I've had tinnitus since. Fortunately no actual hearing loss, though). During that course I learnt about the business side of things in depth, as that was essentially the point of the course - to become a self-employed professional musician - and it's an awful industry, to be honest.

    I decided it wasn't for me, and had to get more qualified to get a good job (I was 19 at this point). I picked up a catalogue for my local college, and picked Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Psychology. I picked them because I thought people would think I was smart, and I gained some interest, in physics at least, from being at music college. I was listed as a guitarist (though I often played keyboards) so my instrument modules of course needed me to understand how the guitar worked, and I thought pickups were really amazing things. I wasn't qualified to take maths, as you needed a B at GCSE. I applied anyway - I was cynical enough to think no one was really going to check any deeper than the 5 A-C grades. Indeed, they didn't, and I got a place.

    The luckiest part for me was the range of teachers I had. They were incredible. In particular, their lessons and style of teaching changed my entire outlook of mathematics. In the second year I dropped psychology and picked up further mathematics, and applied to universities which had joint honours maths and physics courses. I got into Exeter on their joint honours course, but by the end of the first term it was pretty clear that my interests were shifting more towards pure mathematics, so I switched to straight maths. I'm going to graduate on the 18th with a high 2.1 degree, and I'm currently looking at masters courses. I may stay at Exeter, but I'm also finishing applications to Bristol and Bath, typically interested in their research groups in Algebra.

    As I said in my answer to the OP, the big shift was having the teachers that could explain to me what things meant, and how they encode the information we need as mathematical objects. It did an awful lot more for me than make mathematics less of an unconquerable mystery.

    Edit: It was apparently completely pointless putting that sentence in my original reply; I don't really think too hard about what I'm going to write, I just write what I am "saying in reply" in my head. For some reason I added that!
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    (Original post by FireGarden)
    ...
    Ma n.i.igga, you made it. :holmes:

    We're all gonna make it, bruh.
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    (Original post by RebeccaLong)
    I keep getting c grades in maths tests, and even then it's a low c. I'm at the end of year ten and still haven't got the knack of doing simple things in maths, such as percentages and fractions, probability and ratios. I get easily confused in class and my teacher threatened to move me down a group (I'm in top set, but not for long....). Anyone recommend a website or book that will help me improve my maths?
    And please let me know if you feel the same- is it just me...?
    Millions of people are "bad at maths"! The important thing is that you've recognized areas where you are weak and are willing to do something about it.

    Don't wait for your teacher to do nasty things to you - be proactive! Go to your teacher and say "I'm struggling with x, y and z; can you give me some practice material or recommend some extra work that I can try in order to improve". You're less likely to be moved if the teacher can see that you're consciously making an effort.

    Also I think with numerical skills e.g. percentages and ratios, it's important to try to link them to real-life examples that interest you. Try to find (or make up) some examples that relate to things you care about, whether it's fashion, music, cooking, motorbikes or nuclear engineering! Imagine you're paying back a student loan (or a mortgage!) and want to model the effect of changes on interest rates. Or pretend you're calculating the percentage discount on a large chocolate cake in a sale!

    Keep practising and you will improve
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    (Original post by RebeccaLong)
    I keep getting c grades in maths tests, and even then it's a low c. I'm at the end of year ten and still haven't got the knack of doing simple things in maths, such as percentages and fractions, probability and ratios. I get easily confused in class and my teacher threatened to move me down a group (I'm in top set, but not for long....). Anyone recommend a website or book that will help me improve my maths?
    And please let me know if you feel the same- is it just me...?
    As others have already pointed out: a large component of "being good at maths" is the result of years of rote practice. You need to be able to do calculations and manipulations without thinking about them. (It also helps if you understand what you're doing, of course)

    Take a look at the Khan Academy practice area if you want a web-based utility that allows you to practice in this way:

    https://www.khanacademy.org/exercisedashboard
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    http://www.examsolutions.net/maths-r...her/module.php

    Video tutorials for all topics...
 
 
 
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